Shed tour offers shear delight +video

By Zaryd Wilson

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Tony Lock's shed is a walk through 130 years of shearing.

Rows and rows of Heiniger, Sunbeam, Lister and Wolseley handpieces, cutters and combs, each with their own story.

"I sheared my first sheep in 1947 and knocked off full-time shearing in 1967," Mr Lock said.

But his interest in the gear has continued, and for the past 25 years he has been collecting and restoring shearing handpieces.

"I wish I'd started earlier," he said.

Mr Lock's collection will be one of 14 stops on the Man's Shed tour that is being held this Saturday to raise money for the Marton Lions Club.

Back in his day, there were about 17 different makers of shearing gear, but it was now down to a handful, he said.

His own collection began when he had his old Lister handpiece mounted, and over the next quarter of a century he has amassed 150 handpieces.

"That's how they come. They're all beautifully chromed and they all have the beautiful leather covers."

His handpieces range from the earliest models from the late 19th Century to modern Heinigers.

"[They cost] About $850 now," he said. "I can remember when they were £10," Mr Lock said.

"But the mechanics are exactly the same as it was 130 years ago. "The shape has changed and a few refinements, of course."

One of the collection's more unique pieces is a Parke Rotary long-reach shears, which has the comb and cutter on the end of an extended handle. "It really never took off," he said.
Mr Lock has people from all over the world stopping in to browse his collection and he often trades pieces.

"I have a talk and I learn something from everyone," he said. "Something turns up that I've heard about but never had on my hand."

Building his collection has taught him a few tricks too and the Rangitikei man is often asked to help repair handpieces.

"If you know what you're doing it's a simple procedure."

And Mr Lock still does a bit of shearing from time to time. "Shearing's like dancing. If your feet aren't in the right position you'll be all over the place."

¦Tickets for the Man's Shed tour are available from 8.30am on Saturday at the Memorial Hall in Marton for $20, which will be exchanged for a map and people have until 3pm to visit the sheds.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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